On Monday, Manu Ginobili, now 41 years old, announced his retirement from the NBA. He spent all 16 of his NBA seasons with the Spurs. Basically, from my time in Kindergarten (where I was learning how to read and write) to now, this man was playing with the Spurs.
The two-time All-Star, 2008 NBA Man of the year, and FOUR-time NBA champion wrote on Twitter:
“Today, with a wide range of feelings, I’m announcing my retirement from basketball. IMMENSE GRATITUDE to everyone (family, friends, teammates, coaches, staff, fans) involved in my life in the last 23 years. It’s been a fabulous journey. Way beyond my wildest dreams.”
Emanuel David Ginobili was born in Argentina. He holds dual citizenship in Argentina and Italy, and speaks English, Spanish, and Italian. He won two Italian League MVP’s, the EuroLeague Finals MVP, and the Triple Crown. He was selected 57th overall in the 1999 draft and joined the Spurs in 2002. He is known for being an fast-pace player with an aggressive style, using his 6’6” height and left-hand shooting to his advantage.
In his 16 seasons in the NBA, Ginobili averaged 13.3 points, 3.8 assists, and 3.5 rebounds. He played 218 post season games, where he averages 14 points, 3.8 assists, and 4 rebounds.
Ginobili was always highly rated among fans, but was never the “face” of the franchise, as he spent his career with the franchise that featured Duncan, Parker, and Kawhi Leonard.
I personally will really miss Ginobili, and well as my younger brother, Chace, screaming “GINOBILI!!!” at the TV. Ginobili was one of those players that I “grew up” with: my understanding and interest of the league increased with Ginobili’s visibility and talent. He was one of those players that was easy to like.
Image via Clutch Sports and stats via ESPN.